The economic crisis put the brakes on just about everything, but LG Electronics said today it sees blue skies in the mobile device market despite the global slump and will launch three Android-powered phones this year. LG, the third-largest mobile phone maker by shipments, thinks it will seize 10% market share in 2009 and will overtake Samsung for the number two spot by 2012.
ABI Research, a tech sector analysis firm, reported that worldwide mobile handset sales shed 11.9% in the first quarter of this year compared to a year earlier, and fellow South Korean mobile phone manufacturer Samsung said it sees flat demand for the rest of the year. LG, however, remained on an upswing through the downturn, gaining a half-percent of market share between first quarter 2008 and first quarter 2009 to reach 9.2%. Naturally, that’s a momentum LG wants to maintain going forward, as the company predicts a slight increase in demand in the second half of the year. That means more gadgets are on the way as LG angles for greater market share.
LG’s Android phones won’t surface until the third and fourth quarter of this year, with more devices running Google’s operating system following in 2010. Samsung has one Android phone, the Galaxy, set to roll out in Europe by the end of the month and in other markets during the second half of the year. LG appears ready to jump into the Android-powered smartphone game right behind them with not one, but three phones, a strong indicator that LG’s optimism about strengthening second quarter demand appears genuine, and that Android is on the brink of seriously proliferating, a step that should only make it better as programmers explore the extent of its potential.